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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2012 Jun;26(2-3):149-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2012.03.017. Epub 2012 May 8.

Osteoporosis and trace elements--an overview.

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Department of Medicine, Innlandet Hospital Trust, 2226 Kongsvinger, Norway.


More than 200 million people are affected by osteoporosis worldwide, as estimated by 2 million annual hip fractures and other debilitating bone fractures (vertebrae compression and Colles' fractures). Osteoporosis is a multi-factorial disease with potential contributions from genetic, endocrine functional, exercise related and nutritional factors. Of particular considerations are calcium (Ca) status, vitamin D, fluoride, magnesium and other trace elements. Several trace elements such as zinc and copper are essential for normal development of the skeleton in humans and animals. Fluoride accumulates in new bone and results in a net gain in bone mass, but may be associated with a tissue of poor quality. Aluminum induces impairment of bone formation. Gallium and cadmium suppresses bone turnover. However, exact involvements of the trace elements in osteoporosis have not yet been fully clarified. Numerous investigators have evaluated the role of medications and supplementations with minerals and trace substances to reverse the progression of this disease. Although bisphosphonates are still the drugs of choice, low-dosed fluoride and strontium salts have shown promise for the future.

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